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Born Black (1969)

Der verlogene Akt (original title)
R | | Drama | 1972 (USA)
A wealthy German businessman has a one-night stand with a waitress who works in a jazz club and whose black boyfriend is a trumpet player in the club's band. The same night the businessman ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Gabriele Buch
Günther Schramm
Elisabetta Fanti
Michael Hinz
Ursula Oberst
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A wealthy German businessman has a one-night stand with a waitress who works in a jazz club and whose black boyfriend is a trumpet player in the club's band. The same night the businessman has his fling with the waitress, he goes home and has sex with his wife. Nine months later his wife has a baby--and the baby is black. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Witness the actual birth! White mother - Black baby! See more »

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R
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1972 (USA)  »

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Born Black  »

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Poor Europorn (soft) with an outlandish exploitation premise
3 April 2015 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

Rolf von Sydow was a prolific German TV director, but this attempt at a sexploitation feature film is embarrassing. If fits the requirements for the Something Weird Video catalog, but has apparently found few takers if the IMDb non-reaction is any barometer.

Picture foolishly has substantial production values, though I cannot imagine that it merited a first-class cinema release back in West Germany in 1969. It starts off in a familiar mode from that era: presenting our anti-hero Janson as an industry magnate showing his colleagues around, and then rewarding them, convention-style, with B-girls for sex that night. This is a standard trope of exploitation films, and in the '60s combined well with the well-earned dislike and distrust by everyman of the corrupt establishment.

Boring plot developments center on a local tabloid anxious to get the goods on Janson and other muckety-mucks, while we see Janson horsing around with other women in the sack. The ragged print used for DVD transfer by SWV seems to have the sex/nude scenes removed (or stolen CINEMA PARADISO style), but what remains is still gutter-level cinema parading as quality.

All hell breaks loose when Janson's wife gives birth to a black baby. Society's racism spills over into that (subconscious?) of the filmmakers, as the clichéd reactions to this momentous event make 1930s Dwain Esper exploitation movies look subtle by comparison. Janson disowns his wife completely (later he relents, feeling guilty); her brother goes on a drunken spree that permits his character to indulge in the dumbest sort of baiting and verbal abuse to anyone within earshot, highlighted (or low-lighted) by a scene in a nightclub where he tries in vain to act like a bro to any Black person in sight.

And of course the tabloid's paparazzo preys on Mrs. Janson in such an extreme manner that he actually causes her death (sort of -you have to see the film's clumsily directed climactic scene to disbelieve it).

Quickie explanation of the title premise is so outlandish I need to discuss it here as a spoiler, though spoiling this particular movie is an oxymoron. We know Mrs. Janson wasn't unfaithful to her hubby, but the movie posits that her husband slept with a beautiful blonde barmaid who had just slept with her Black trumpet-playing boy friend, and then Janson slept with his wife.

The sperm did sort of a chain-letter transfer from black prick to vagina rubbing off on white prick to vagina, and Mrs. Janson became the mother of a child begat by a man she'd never met. (Sounds like a commercial for a feminine hygiene product.) I don't know the scientific basis for this nonsense, but in cinematic terms it emerges as a truly idiotic deus ex machina device I doubt even Agatha Christie would have pulled out of her rear, oops, I mean hat.

Picture's camp value, tied into the trumpet player, is a repeated theme song, namely the 1968 Louis Armstrong hit "What a Wonderful World", played sarcastically when Mrs. Janson is being persecuted and shunned. Give me a break, Rolf.


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